Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Instant Pot & Slow Cooker: Spicy Mexican Pork & Rice

Rice is the fiber of my being... and if ever given a choice between rice or something else, I will choose rice. It's no wonder I lean towards to a lot of Asian and Latin cuisines because of the many ways rice is incorporated in so many of their dishes. This Spicy Mexican Pork & Rice recipes is one of my favorites because of the way rice cooks with the pork and seasonings. I especially like this more the next day when flavors have been given a chance to meld...



Several years ago, I made this dish on the stove top. It worked wonderfully but as you may have guessed, it took quite a bit of time - nearly 2 1/2 hours! Granted, it was well worth the wait, but these days when my schedule is tight, I just don't have that same time to spend. Get the Stove Top recipe version here!

I found that I could adjust this recipe for a slow cooker, where I could prepare it, set it and forget it for several hours. The slow cooker version is great and I loved how it came out. So I plan on using the slow cooker for those days I have everything ready and can have it cook all day...then my husband can finish the dish in the oven in time for dinner. I've included the slow cooker recipe below!

And I also tested the recipe with some adjustments for the Instant Pot. This also came out wonderfully where the major draw is cutting the cook time to less than an hour with minimal prep. Another bonus was being able to cook the entire dish in one pot. Score! I've also included the Instant Pot recipe below too.

So, regardless of how you prefer to make this amazing, comforting and flavorful dish, I've got you covered for the stove top, slow cooker and Instant Pot! 


Spicy Mexican Pork & Rice
recipe from Cooks Illustrated

2-pound boneless pork butt roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, minced
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press
1 tablespoon minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 fresh lime

Garnish or for serving:
fresh chopped cilantro
lime slices or wedges
shredded cheese
sour cream
fresh chopped avocado



In your Slow Cooker / Crock Pot:

Pat pork dry with paper towels and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. 

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large Dutch oven or pan over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of pork and brown on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and remaining pork; transfer to slow cooker.

In the same Dutch oven or pan, In the now empty Dutch oven or pan, add onion to rendered fat and oil left in pot and sauté until softened. 

Stir in garlic, chipotle, thyme and oregano and cook until fragrant.

Stir in broth and tomato sauce, scraping any browned bits.

Pour sauce over pork in slow cooker. 

Cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours or low for 8-10 hours. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Carefully remove the crockpot insert from the crockpot and thoroughly stir in rice. Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven until all rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 30 minutes, gently stirring rice from bottom of pot to top every 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and stir in cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

To serve, garnish with more cilantro, a sprinkling of cheese, lime and some freshly chopped avocado.

** All Crock-Pot® slow cooker removable crockery inserts (without lid) may be used safely in the oven set up to 400°F.



In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.


Pat pork dry with paper towels and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Press SAUTE and add half the oil. When hot, add half of pork and brown on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes; transfer to large bowl. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and remaining pork; transfer to bowl.


In the now empty pot, add onion to rendered fat and oil left in pot and sauté until softened. Stir in garlic, chipotle, thyme and oregano and cook until fragrant.

Stir in broth and tomato sauce, scraping any browned bits. Add browned pork with accumulated juice and bring to simmer. 


Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 35 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 35 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 35 minutes, carefully turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.


Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Add the rice to the pot and thoroughly stir in. 


Secure the lid of the IP once again and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 6 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 6 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 6 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure.

When the display reflects 10 (which is 10 minutes since the IP has beeped), turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Stir in cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper to taste. 

To serve, garnish with more cilantro, a sprinkling of cheese, lime and some freshly chopped avocado.